News / Africa

UN Agency Alarmed by Continued Sexual Violence Against Women in DRC

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua

Recent data from the UNHCR shows that women and girls in The Democratic Republic of Congo continue to be sexually assaulted throughout the country at an average of almost 14-assaults each day since the beginning of the year.

The agency is alarmed by the large number of rapes that have persisted over the years, and how rape continues to be used as a weapon against women, even after the civil war.

Fatoumata Lejuen-Kaba, spokesperson for the UNHCR, says even though the civil war is over, there are still some very volatile regions in the country.

“Today even in areas where there is no war going on, you still have lots of rape cases reported.  That is why we are very much alarmed.  There is total impunity, lack of justice.  We think this makes it easier for people to just continue raping as they’ve done in the past, ” says Lejuen-Kaba.

UN data shows that during the first three months of this year, 1,244 women were sexually assaulted throughout the country. That’s about fourteen assaults a day.

Lejeune-Kaba says, “To curtail this, we’re trying to minimize vulnerable women’s exposure to dangerous situations where they get raped.  For example, in the camps, we know that when women venture out to go get wood or water, they are raped.  So we provide them with firewood or fuel-efficient stoves, for example.  But overall not enough is being done.”

She says women and girls who are sexually assaulted, in addition to the physical trauma and exposure to violence, feel shame and hurt, rather than harboring a sense of anger toward the rapist. The women are often abandoned by their husbands and families and are left to cope with the crime alone.

“We are trying to make sure that rape is recognized as crime, and they are prosecuted—so we provide legal assistance.  For example, in south Kivu province, the number of rape incidences is really high.  We’ve helped 145 survivors file complaints in local courts and as a result, there are 24 men charged and they were sentenced to jail terms.  Some of them were ordered to pay compensation.  And we are running an information campaign to inform husbands and police officers that the woman is a victim and shouldn’t be held responsible,” says Lejeune-Kaba.

Lejeune-Kaba added there have been positive responses from the information campaign, with still a long way to go.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid